In case T-435/11, Universal Display Corp had applied for the word CTM UniversalPHOLED for Class 1 goods.
The examiner rejected the application on the grounds that is composed of the words ‘universal’ and ‘pholed’ – an acronym for phosphorescent organic light-emitting diode’ – which convey clear and direct information on the kind and quality of those goods. The Second Board of Appeal essentially took the view that the word sign UniversalPHOLED was composed of two descriptive English words. The element ‘pholed’ in the mark applied for was considered to be descriptive of the goods in question and the element ‘universal’ to indicate that the goods have an all-round application. Second, the Board of Appeal was of the view that the relevant consumer would regard the mark applied for as a mere description of the materials used in the manufacture of the goods and therefore concluded that the mark applied for was descriptive of the goods.
The fact that the sign UniversalPholed does not appear as such in dictionaries does not in any way alter the finding that that sign is descriptive of the goods at issue for the purpose of Article 7(1)(c) of CTMR, to pursue the aim which is in the public interest, namely that such signs or indications may be freely used by all.